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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  November 17, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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>> and complete weather too with the changing forecast. see you at 6:00. >> tonight, late breaking news. the first guantanamo terror suspect to be tried in civilian court is acquitted of the most serious charges against him. i'm katie couric. also tonight it could be the most popular g. m. vehicle of all time. stock in the new general motors is about to go on sale, and investors can't get enough of it. baby boomers and alzheimer's, the early warning signs that too often go unnoticed. and the wedding of the century. will british taxpayers be invited? to pay the bill? ing news" with katie couric.
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>> couric: good evening, everyone. we begin tonight with breaking news. a major setback for the obama administration and its attempt to show that terror suspects held at guantanamo can be tried successfully in civilian courts. in what was seen as a test case, a federal jury here in new york today acquitted ahmed guilani of the most serious terrorism charges against him, convicting only on a lesser charge of conspiracy. justice correspondent bob orr has the very latest on this developing story. bob? >> reporter: katie, there's no doubt at all this is very bad news for the government. our cbs news analyst calls it "a disaster." this was to be a test case of sorts, as you mentioned, to prove guatanamo bay detainees could be successfully prosecuted in civilian courts in the u.s. but the jury now has found ahmed ghailani not guilty on not guilty on four counts of conspiring with al qaeda in the u.s. embassy bombings back in 1998, in tanzania and kenya.
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also he was found not guilty on 224 murder counts. that's the number of people killed in that twin bombing. he was convicted on one count of conspiring to destroy u.s. property with explosives. now, that conviction passed down today carries up to life in prison and a minimum of at least 20 years in prison, but this is important-- if for whatever reason he is ever released from prison, he would almost certainty go back to being an enemy combatant with open-ended detention. this, obviously, could have a huge impact on any future plans to try khalid sheikh mohammed and the other 9/11 conspirators. for now they remain at guatanamo. prison, he would almost certainty go back to being an enemy combatant with open-ended detention. this, obviously, could have a huge impact on any future plans to try khalid shake mohammed and the other 9/11 conspirators. >> couric: bob, stand by, because bob has been following another story related to terrorism. the backlash over those new security measures at the airport. today the t.s.a. announced one change: young children will no
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longer face full pat-downs but the head of the agency told congress everyone else better get used to the procedures. >> reporter: facing growing anger over probing pat-downs and so-called naked x-rays, transportation security chief john pistole today appealed for cooperation. >> look, this is for your safety, security, work with us. this is a partnership here. >> reporter: but testifying before the senate commerce committee, pistole took a hard line, saying planes face an ongoing threat from hidden explosives so travelers who refuse both body imaging scans and pat-downs won't be allowed to fly. >> do i understand the sensitivities of people? yes. if you're asking am i going to change the policies? no. >> reporter: criticking are calling for a thanksgiving holiday slow-down, urging travelers to refuse the scans and overwhelm t.s.a. checkpoints with pat-down requests. >> i wouldn't want my wife to be touched the way these folks are being touched. >> there has to be a way, however, for privacy concerns to be addressed. >> reporter: the enhanced pat- downs require t.s.a. officers to
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officers to carefully frisk even the most private regioning of the body, and pistole, who went through the procedure himself called the pat-downs invasive. but the failed christmas day attack by underwear bomber umar farouk abdulmutallab, priewstles terrorists are actively working to smuggle bombsars board airplanes. >> i recognize the invasiveness of it. i also recognize the stlets are real, the stakes are high and we must prevail. >> reporter: security officials say flying is a privilege not a right, and protecting aviation is a national security obligation. katie. >> couric: all right, bob orr, thanks so much for both of your reports tonight. in other news, what a comeback for general motors. it's gone from bankruptcy to become the new darling of wall street going public tomorrow with its first stock offering since the government bailout. that rescue cost taxpayers $50 billion, and now it's payback time. g.m. will raise some of the money by selling more than half a billion shares at a price of $33.
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that's expected to bring in as much as $23 billion, a record for an initial public offering. anthony mason is our senior business correspondent. anthony, g.m.'s back to making a profit, and investors are hoping to hitch a ride. >> reporter: exactly, katie. a very strong demand for g.m. stock has pushed up the offering price. it will mean a significant payback for american taxpayers and general motors will no longer be "government motors." g.m. unveiled its new camaro at the los angeles auto show today. tomorrow, it will unveil its new stock on wall street. is g.m. now a healthy company? >> g.m. is absolute a healthy company. >> reporter: steve rattener is the former head of the obama administration's auto task force and author of "overhaul." >> g.m. is doing exceptionally well. the entire auto sector is doing exceptionally well. >> reporter: it has been a stunning turnaround for a
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company just 20 months ago that was saved by a controversial government takeover as president obama joked... >> just last week "car & driver" named me auto executive of the year. ( laughter ) >> reporter: the government forced g.m. into bankruptcy and after a restructuring that cut half of g.m.'s brands and its workforce by nearly a quarter. the stock sale will cut the government's stake in g.m. by more than half. from more than 60% to less than 30%. the rest of its shares will be sold off over time. the government will need to sell at an average price of $44 to break even. you think there's a possibility still the government could break even on this? >> absolutely there's a possibility. >> reporter: because auto sales have begun to rebound. ford's c.e.o. alan mullaly is leading his company to record profits. >> we have a tremendous pent-up demand. the average age of the vehicles in the united states is over ten years now because people have been delaying this decision for all the obvious reasons.
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>> historically, america spent about 4% of g.d.p. on automobiles. right now that number is 2.3%. >> reporter: industry analyst john cassesa. that means these companies should be pretty profitable? >> these companies will make a tremendous amount of money as sales rebound. their costs are low. >> reporter: in all, taxpayers have invested $82 billion to save the auto industry. >> i now believe-- and this is a more optimistic view than i had before-- i believe the government will get all but five or six or $7 billion of that which is an extraordinary success for the government in fixing this critical industry. g.m., which has already made $4 billion is on curious for its first profittallable year. katie. >> couric: anthony it would appear this may turn out to be a good deal for the government and taxpayers after all. >> reporter: it looks that way. of course, where the stock price goes from here-- and there's no guarantee it's going to go up-- is ultimately what will determine what taxpayers get back. but i think 20 months ago there would be very few people who would say we would be sitting here talking about a profitable g.m. and a stock sale that would
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pay back taxpayers so much, so soon. >> couric: a new tool in the fight against prostate cancer. more than 217,000 men will be diagnosed with the disease this year. and about 32,000 will die. a newly approved drug can extend lives, but only by months at a cost of close to $100,000. and wyatt andrews reports the debate in washington today was: should medicare pay for it? >> reporter: sal cicero has advanced prostate cancer his doctors say is fatal but at 67, he is still working as a realtor and for that he credit the drug provenge. >> the drug for me has given me basically an opportunity to continue my lifestyle. >> reporter: patient advocates, like jim kiefert, call provenge a medical breakthrough. >> the men who know about it are just standing in line waiting to get it. >> reporter: for tens of thousands of prostate cancer
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victims, provenge equals hope. to make the drug, the patient's own blood cells are drawn and are then exposed in a lab to a protein that mimics the cancer. they're then returned to the patient essentially super- charged to attack the cancer. so what's the issue? it costs $93,000 per patient for four extra months of survival. those facts led medicare officials to call in the experts to ask if medicare should cover provenge. officials insisted this was not about the cost but the meeting alarmed patient groups who charged it was all about the money, and worse. >> i see no other word to use in this case but "rationing." >> each lot of provenge... >> reporter: the makers of provenge call the drug a value at 93,000. they argue it can be less expensive than chemotherapy with none of the horrible side effects. >> what is a breakthrough here is that the concept of using your own immune system to fight cancer represents a whole new era in medicine. >> reporter: but this whole new
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era is getting expensive. other biologic drugs like provenge made from cells now cost more than $21,000 per patient while traditional drugs cost $1,100, which means one day these breakthroughs could break the bank. >> and they need to figure out how to bring this in if we're going to be able to keep the pharmacy benefit off the extinction list. >> reporter: it's likely medicare will cover provenge but only for those patients whose cancer has spread. it's a crucial decision because typically most private insurance companies follow medicare's lead. wyatt andrews, cbs news, washington. >> couric: if you'd like to learn more about this and other treatments you can go to our partner in health news and search "prostate cancer." turning to politics now, nancy pelosi will not be speaker of the house in the new congress, but the soon-to-be minority democrats chose her today as their leader. she beat back a challenge from heath schuler from north carolina, 152-43.
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some who lost their seats in the november election blame her. >> i know it was the only issue. it was the only ad my opponent ran. >> the truth is that nancy pelosi's season has passed. >> couric: pelosi will be handed the speaker's gavel in january to john boehner. house republicans chose him their leader today, his 61st birthday. and in that alaska senate race, incumbent republican lisa murkowski is ready to declare victory tonight over tea party republican joe miller. she'll be the first senate candidate in more than 50 years to win with a write-in campaign. and update on a story we brought you last night. senate opponents have blocked the paycheck fairness act. that bill would have made it easier for women to sue employers who pay them less than men for similar work. and still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," no one expected william and kate to elope, but can britain really afford a royal wedding?
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up next, a painful lesson for aging baby boomers about spotting the early warning signs of alzheimer's.
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>> couric: the oldest of the baby boomers turn 65 next year. with aging come concerns about health, including alzheimer's.
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about five million american seniors are battling the disease. that is expected to increase by 50% over the next 20 years. and with no cure, it's very important to catch the early warning signs so patients can be treated. tonight in partnership with "usa today", dr. jon lapook begins a new series on the challengers facing baby boomers called "senior moment." >> reporter: dr. max gomez was a successful ob/gyn in miami, delivering thousands of babies. he lived the good life. >> i still should have quite a bit of money in my pocket. >> reporter: but he is now penniless, living in a care facility paid for by medicaid. >> alzheimer's disease... >> reporter: his son is wcbs medical correspondent consider dr. max gomez. even with his training, he missed the warning signs of alzheimer's until three years ago. >> his bank account had been plundered. essentially his life savings were gone. >> reporter: dr. gomez was not
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practicing medicine but still had the title of medical director at a clinic. that clinic made him legally responsible for multiple commercial loans and took out mortgages in his name. a girlfriend wrote thousands of dollars in checks against his savings account. and the f.b.i. started investigating after his i.d. was used to file millions of dollars in false medicare claims. >> here he was helpless and being taken advantage of left and right. >> reporter: did you look back and think, oh, there was a clue there? >> there was never one big a-ha moment. >> reporter: patients can seem lucid, even as the disease is destroying the brain. >> financial difficulties are a very sensitive way of picking out future problems. >> here's the deposit. >> reporter: the financial services industry realizes brokers and bankers may see aging clients more often than out-of-town families do and is training representatives to
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report warning signs. >> confusion, mood swings, losing things, and also importantly, changing a long- term investment strategy suddenly. >> reporter: here's what families can do: assume power of attorney over financial affairs. set up automatic bill pay and monitor monthly statements. and create a master list of accounts and passwords. max gomez says his father still does not remember losing his money and does not admit he has alzheimer's. >> i'm getting old. i'm forgetting things. >> he was my role model, my mentor. i take care of him. it's my job. >> reporter: is that a job you ever envisioned have? >> i thought about it. uhm... you just do it. it's just the way it is. >> reporter: it can be awkward to talk about money matters with family, but uncovering warning signs of dementia can prevent financial devastation. katie.
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>> couric: all right, dr. jon lapook. jon, thanks very much. and up next, last call-- the f.d.a. cracks down on those high-alcohol, high-caffeine drinks some call a blackout in a can. ,,,,
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>> couric: the drink of choice for many college students is about to change. today, the f.d.a. cracked down on energy drinks that are packed with booze and caffeine. national correspondent jim
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axelrod reports, this follows a lot of trips to the hospital. >> reporter: these videos of college students sucking down the caffeinated alcoholic beverage four loko may soon become collector's items. >> you need to go to the hospital? >> no. >> reporter: now that the f.d.a. has enacted a virtual ban by warning four manufacturers of alcoholic energy drinks: they're unsafe. >> we have determined that these products are not in compliance with the law, that the addition of the caffeine does not meet our legal standards for safety. >> reporter: the federal government is following the lead of five states that have already banned the drinks-- washington, michigan, oklahoma, utah, and new york. a 23.5-ounce can of four loko is the equivalent of four beers, a red bull, and a shot of espresso, all for less than $3. the caffeine masks the alcohol, creating what the f.d.a. calls
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"wide-awake drunks." >> what happens is the caffeine makes you more awake, the caffeine gives you more pep. the caffeine reverses some of the sedative effects of alcohol, and, therefore, it makes it much easier to have four times as much as you would have without the caffeine. >> reporter: ramapo college in new jersey, central washington university, and the university of rhode island banned the drink from their campuses after dozens of students got sick. the manufacturers now have 15 days to change the formula. four loko promises to drop caffeine. >> i think people will still drink it, but there will probably be a lot of complaints and it will probably be way less popular. >> reporter: and that could spell the end of four loko and other similar drinks for good. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and talk about high energy, if you've ever tried to shoot baskets at an arcade you know it's not easy. the rim is tiny, the ball is too bouncy. watch this girl become an internet star by sinking one after another in rapid fire. two swishes every second, almost zen-like.
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in one minute she made 128 baskets in a row. very impressive. and coming up next, is the right couple getting married at the wrong time?
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make sure the past doesn't
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disappear forever. next >> couric: and finally tonight, proposing is the easy part. planning the wedding is always a lot tougher. and then there's the matter of who pays for it, especially when the couple may one day be the king and queen of england. here's mark phillips. >> reporter: it's begun-- announce a royal wedding and the next thing you know, commemorative crockery is pouring off the assembly line. the royal souvenir business is good already. >> just how good we'll wait and see. >> reporter: there's a lot of wait and see about this wedding. >> we've been planning it for at least a year if not longer. it was just finding the right time and that was as much-- it's all about timing. >> reporter: william and kate spent the day after their flash- a-thon announcement huddled with palace advisers trying to decide when and where to have their wedding and what sort of affair it should be.
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they're getting plenty of unsolicited advice. >> if it's going to be a big wedding that will be seen as recklessly extravagant and most unsuitable for this time of austerity. and if it's too small everybody will say the royal family is frightfully mean. so there's no-- that's a lose- lose situation. >> reporter: the issue is cost. the lavish charles and diana wedding of 30 years ago was estimated to have run up a bill of more than $50 million, and that includes the 20,000 pearls sewn into diana's dress. with additional security costs for a post 9/11 royal wedding estimated at perhaps $120 million-- the question is who should pick up the tab this time? >> they've got enough money to pay for it themselves and i think it's the wrong signal if the government dips into taxpayers' money in order to pay for this. >> reporter: anyway, william and kate are supposed to be a new kind of royal couple. >> they went to university together.
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they've been together... >> reporter: just like normal people. >> just like normal people. they've been together eight years. people. >> they separated once and decide they hated each other-- just like normal people. and then they decided, apparently, they couldn't live without each other. it would be hard to think of anything more different than charles and diana. >> reporter: grand royal weddings having traditionally taken place in one of london's great cathedrals, but there's a problem with each of them. st. paul's cathedral would be a natural choice for a big wedding but it, of course, is where the disastrous marriage of williams' parents began. the other obvious choice, westminster abbey. but it's where diana's funeral was held. there are no easy choices in this wedding. but somebody's going to have to start making those choices soon. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> couric: and that is the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric. thank you for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow. good night.
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captioning sponsored by cbs your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. caption colorado, l.l.c. a tuition protest out of control. an officer pulled a gun. gunned down in front of a church, what witnesses saw during oakland's latest homicide. >> and what about the struggle to keep oakland's police force adequately staffed? and that other struggles you won't find in today's state of the city address. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm dana king. the prospects of another tuition hike for uc students touched off violent clashes between protestors and police today. about 300 protestors tried to make their way into the regents meeting at uc-san francisco mission bay. one officer even drew his gun during the standoff. simon perez is in san francisco with the tense confrontatio